Super League team prediction to end Saints-Wigan dominance

While there is always plenty of drama in a Super League season, one thing has been true over the 28 completed campaigns and that was that one of the four sides would lift the trophy at Old Trafford. Has a new contender emerged to shake this up in Hull KR?

The statistic that only four teams have lifted the Super League crown in the last 28 seasons doesn’t even do justice to that level of dominance, in the last almost 20 years only three teams have had a sniff at the title. Bradford Bull’s fall from glory days.

Even in the last six seasons, and potentially this current season, one of the three remaining champion sides have fallen out of favor, with Leeds Rhinos’ last taste of Super League success coming in 2017, and the club currently out of the playoffs, same as the last one. year.

Starting in 2018, it was dominated by Good Friday with Wigan Warriors ending St Helens’ four title streak and those teams look set to go close again this season, as they sit top of the table after third of the season eclipsed.

If it’s not Matt Peet or Paul Wellens lifting the Grand Final in October, then it could be Sam Burgess, but we’ve been here with Warrington before. A team that have slowly started their rise to the top and have ambitions to disrupt Wigan-Saints’ current dominance is Hull KR and they have just linked the key piece to their possible success.

How important is it that Hull KR have signed Willie Peters on a long-term deal?

Hull KR's Elliot Minchella and Head Coach Willie Peters celebrate the win over St Helens.

Credit: Imago Images

It was confirmed last night that Hull KR have locked down head coach Willie Peters for a further four years, with the Australian signing a contract until the end of the 2028 season. To describe Petets contract extension as the signing of the season would be an insult to the man, Hull KR and the director club general manager Paul Lakin, who has overseen much of the current project at Craven Park.

Willie Peters is fast becoming one of the most desirable coaches on the market and the NRL has apparently already come calling for the former Newcastle Knights assistant. Only recently. Peters has had to clarify his contract situation and commitment to Hull KR after reports below placed him on a list of names to take over at another of his former clubs the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

During that presser, Peters explained: “Do I have (NRL) track aspirations? Yes, I do. But I have a job here that I want to do—and I hope I can do for a while.

“There is a vision at the club that I share. I started a job and I’d like to stay and finish it.”

How big that vision is remains to be seen, but Peters has taken the club to another Challenge Cup semi-final, just a year after taking Hull KR to Wembley and the Super League play-off semi-finals.

Former head coach Tony Smith guided the Robins to the semi-final stage in every competition, but those seasons felt like underdogs, this current campaign is starting to feel like that is what Hull KR fans expect and feel is their place.

With Willie Peters in charge, Robins fans would continue that sense of anticipation and belonging for at least another four years, at which point they could well have lifted silverware for the first time since 1985.

What Willie Peters needs to fix for the Robins to be contenders

Willie Peters Hull KR

Credit: Imago Images

One of the current themes of Sky Sports analysis is the ‘Contenders or Contenders’ question and although Hull KR failed to meet the ‘Contenders’ mark in their most recent match against Warrington Wolves, they did take points from both Wigan Warriors. and St Helens in the last two weeks.

After avenging their Challenge Cup Final defeat to Leigh by knocking out the holders in the quarters at a packed Craven Park, Hull KR embarked on a four-game block of Super League games against three of the most recent four teams to make the Grand. Final and the other developing team in Warrington Wolves.

Ironically, KR beat both sides that lifted that silverware but lost to the Catalans and Warrington, those defeats booking a fortnight of celebration in East Hull after Peters’ side dismantled Wigan and St Helens.

The problem with the defeat was that Hull KR were on the road, with the stats showing that the Robins have one of the biggest margins of victory over defeat depending on whether they are at home or away.

The defeat to Warrington came in round 11 of this current campaign, going back to the same round in the 2023 season, it sees Hull KR lose 11 of their 16 away games in Super League. Instead, they won 12 of their 15 games at Craven Park in Super League during that time.

An 80% win rate at home is hampered by a 31% win rate on the road. If Hull KR can become a team that can force play-off games at home then it’s not nearly as big of a concern, but currently their league form on the road is dragging them down and out of the top two.

Will Hull KR become the fifth different team ever to win Super League?

Willie Peters Hull KR

Credit: Imago Images

Climbing from the bottom of Super League to the top is all well and good for a while, but it only means something if you lift silverware. Castleford Tigers might be a prime example of this, the team looking to be in an IMG dogfight to keep their place in Super League, but just seven years ago they were in the Grand Final.

KR’s neighbors in the city are comparable to the club currently in crisis, without a head coach, without a win in nine and having just lost to London Broncos, all the while Hull KR are on the rise. For the Black and Whites, they can boast back-to-back Challenge Cups though, but they will certainly not enjoy seeing the Robins on the rise.

Hull KR clearly need to improve their away form, but their current trajectory is already attracting some massive recruits, which is testament to Willie Peters being a manager who inspires change and therefore attracts stars. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves heads to Craven Park next season in what is arguably one of the most iconic NRL names to make it to Super League for a long time.

He might be 35 but has been labeled a “massive blow” by someone who knows a lot about the Kiwi forward, with former Leeds Rhinos forward Matt Adamson speaking to Serious About Rugby League about what an influential signing this is.

“I think he will be outstanding and become a real favorite for all KR fans. And they’re doing a phenomenal job,” Adamson explained.

“It suits the British game down to the ground. He’s a massive blow to the competition because that’s what the fans want to see more of, especially there, that physicality and aggression that British strikers are known for.”

KR’s recruitment has already been elite, with each signing for the 2024 season playing a big role, with Peta Hiku, Niall Evalds and Joe Burgess cementing star roles in the backline, while Jack Broadbent scored two from two when filling in at short notice for yet another score. an impressive recruit in Ollie Gildart. Former Wakefield Trinity due to Jai Whitbread and Kelepi Tanginoa brought strength to the pack and this will be further boosted by JWH next year.

Credit: Imago Images

In short, Hull KR are already recruiting like an elite team, their home form is that of an elite side, their head coach is among the best in Super League and with a tweak to their away form the Robins certainly must be considered the biggest threat to St Helens and Wigan’s era of dominance.

Another trip to Wembley, courtesy of another win over Wigan Warriors this weekend, would do no harm to raise their status even further.

Regarding his new deal, Peters brilliantly guessed what he set out to (and succeeded in) doing: “The goal I had and continue to have is to make our community proud, for the team to make the community proud and not only field, but also outside it. Once you have everyone sharing the same vision, great things happen as a result.”

The question now remains, what comes first for Hull KR? A trip to Wembley or a trip to Old Trafford, we’ll find out more about this next week.

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